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Soul Loss, and Soul Retrieval
Maybe you are struggling to get over a relationship breakup, or you know somebody else who is struggling with this? Or maybe the problem is a bereavement? Or the loss of a home or a job? Or maybe you (or they) are still feeling the wounds and effects of a difficult childhood? Or perhaps it is another traumatic experience, such as bullying at school or at work? Or maybe there is a feeling of never really having been the same after a serious illness or accident. Or maybe there are feelings that do not obviously stem from a particular event; apathy maybe; a lack of focus and enthusiasm; depression; addictive behaviours; low self-esteem. If so, then in shamanic terms, the most likely cause is 'soul loss'.
The idea of soul loss is central to shamanism. Shamanism is our oldest spiritual practice. It dates back at least 40,000 years, and is probably much older still. It has been practised by all human cultures. What is amazing is that although shamanic communities are scattered across the four corners of the earth, there is a remarkable consistency of belief and practices between them. This was first noticed by the anthropologist Michael Harner, who coined the term 'core shamanism'. One of these core shamanic beliefs is the idea of 'soul loss', and the associated shamanic practice of 'soul retrieval'. This is the idea that part of our soul can literally leave, leaving behind a sense of emptiness and a feeling that something is missing'. The treatment is for a shamanic practitioner to find the missing part and persuade it to come back, and help make the person whole again.
The symptoms of soul loss are many. They include:
That last one may seem strange, but in fact it is surprisingly common. This is because, prior to the birth of so-called 'civilisation' from around 4,000BC to the present day, all humans practised shamanism. In fact, they did not just practice it (in the way that in the modern world we may, or may not, 'practice' a religion or spiritual path, as if it is an 'optional extra'). People lived and breathed shamanism; it was central to them. The vast, vast majority of your ancestors, going back literally thousands upon thousands of generations, knew the symptoms of soul loss. So nowadays, although we have lost the conscious knowledge of it, we still have an ancestral, unconscious, inner knowing that that is what is wrong. And so, for many people it immediately feels right when it is explained to them.
Physically, the symptoms of soul loss can be pretty much anything. Fatigue is very common, and a weakened immune system. But literally, soul loss can be behind pretty much any illness. We are talking about being in an energetically-weakened, run-down state; it is not surprising then that things may start to go wrong in the physical body too.
Next: the causes of soul loss.
The Three Ravens College of Therapeutic Shamanism.
About soul loss and soul retrieval. Soul loss is seen as one of the main reasons people get ill, from a shamanic point of view. Read about the symptoms of soul loss, and discover how a shamanic healer can help. Part 1: what is soul loss?